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Archive for June, 2011

Posted by Just Foreign Policy on June 30th, 2011

From our partners at Just Foreign Policy

Just Foreign Policy distributed a press release today announcing an imminent milestone for the Afghanistan war under the Obama administration: within the next few days, 1,000 troops will have died in Afghanistan under Obama’s watch. Post and watch our counter and read our press release.

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Posted by alexthurston on June 30th, 2011

This article originally appeared at TomDispatch.

The Militarized Surrealism of Barack Obama
Signs of the Great American Unraveling

By Tom Engelhardt

It’s already gone, having barely outlasted its moment — just long enough for the media to suggest that no one thought it added up to much.

Okay, it was a little more than the military wanted, something less than Joe Biden would have liked, not enough for the growing crew of anti-war congressional types, but way too much for John McCain, Lindsey Graham, & Co.

I’m talking about the 13 minutes of “remarks” on “the way forward in Afghanistan” that President Obama delivered in the East Room of the White House two Wednesday nights ago.

Tell me you weren’t holding your breath wondering whether the 33,000 surge troops he ordered into Afghanistan as 2009 ended would be removed in a 12-month, 14-month, or 18-month span.  Tell me you weren’t gripped with anxiety about whether 3,000, 5,000, 10,000, or 15,000 American soldiers would come out this year (leaving either 95,000, 93,000, 88,000, or 83,000 behind)?

You weren’t?  Well, if so, you were in good company.

Billed as the beginning of the end of the Afghan War, it should have been big and it couldn’t have been smaller.  The patented Obama words were meant to soar, starting with a George W. Bush-style invocation of 9/11 and ending with the usual copious blessings upon this country and our military.  But on the evidence, they couldn’t have fallen flatter.  I doubt I was alone in thinking that it was like seeing Ronald Reagan on an unimaginably bad day in an ad captioned “It’s never going to be morning again in America.”

Idolator President

If you clicked Obama off that night or let the event slide instantly into your mental trash can, I don’t blame you.  Still, the president’s Afghan remarks shouldn’t be sent down the memory hole quite so quickly.

For one thing, while the mainstream media’s pundits and talking heads are always raring to discuss his policy remarks, the words that frame them are generally ignored — and yet the discomfort of the moment can’t be separated from them.  So start with this: whether by inclination, political calculation, or some mix of the two, our president has become a rhetorical idolator.

These days he can barely open his mouth without also bowing down before the U.S. military in ways that once would have struck Americans as embarrassing, if not incomprehensible.  In addition, he regularly prostrates himself before this country’s special mission to the world and never ceases to emphasize that the United States is indeed an exception among nations.  Finally, in a way once alien to American presidents, he invokes God’s blessing upon the military and the country as regularly as you brush your teeth.

Think of these as the triumvirate without which no Obama foreign-policy moment would be complete: greatest military, greatest nation, our God.  And in this he follows directly, if awkwardly, in Bush’s footsteps.

I wouldn’t claim that Americans had never had such thoughts before, only that presidents didn’t feel required to say them in a mantra-like way just about every time they appeared in public.  Sometimes, of course, when you feel a compulsion to say the same things ad nauseam, you display weakness, not strength; you reveal the most fantastic of fantasy worlds, not a deeper reality.

The president’s recent Afghan remarks were, in this sense, par for the course.  As he plugged his plan to bring America’s “long wars” to what he called “a responsible end,” he insisted that “[l]ike generations before, we must embrace America’s singular role in the course of human events.”  He then painted this flattering word portrait of us:

“We’re a nation that brings our enemies to justice while adhering to the rule of law, and respecting the rights of all our citizens.  We protect our own freedom and prosperity by extending it to others.  We stand not for empire, but for self-determination… and when our union is strong no hill is too steep, no horizon is beyond our reach… we are bound together by the creed that is written into our founding documents, and a conviction that the United States of America is a country that can achieve whatever it sets out to accomplish.”

I know, I know.  You’re wondering whether you just mainlined into a Sarah Palin speech and your eyes are glazing over.  But hang in there, because that’s just a start.  For example, in an Obama speech of any sort, what America’s soldiers never lack is the extra adjective.  They aren’t just soldiers, but “our extraordinary men and women in uniform.”  They aren’t just Americans, but “patriotic Americans.”  (Since when did an American president have to describe American soldiers as, of all things, “patriotic”?)  And in case you missed the point that, in their extraordinariness and their outsized patriotism they are better than other Americans, he made sure to acknowledge them as the ones we “draw inspiration from.”

In a country that now “supports the troops” with bumper-sticker fervor but pays next to no attention to the wars they fight, perhaps Obama is simply striving to be the premier twenty-first-century American.  Still, you have to wonder what such presidential fawning, omnipresent enough to be boilerplate, really represents.  The strange thing is we hear this sort of thing all the time.  And yet no one ever comments on it.

Oh, and let’s not forget that no significant White House moment ends these days without the president bestowing God’s blessing on the globe’s most extraordinary nation and its extraordinary fighters, or as he put it in his Afghan remarks: “May God bless our troops.  And may God bless the United States of America.”

The day after he revealed his drawdown plan to the nation, the president traveled to Ft. Drum in New York State to thank soldiers from the Army’s 10th Mountain Division for their multiple deployments to Afghanistan.  Before those extraordinary and patriotic Americans, he quite naturally doubled down.

Summoning another tic of this presidential moment (and of the Bush one before it), he told them that they were part of “the finest fighting force in the world.”  Even that evidently seemed inadequate, so he upped the hyperbole. “I have no greater job,” he told them, “nothing gives me more honor than serving as your commander in chief.  To all of you who are potentially going to be redeployed, just know that your commander in chief has your back… God bless you, God bless the United States of America, climb to glory.”

As ever, all of this was overlooked.  Nowhere did a single commentator wonder, for instance, whether an American president was really supposed to feel that being commander in chief offered greater “honor” than being president of a nation of citizens.  In another age, such a statement would have registered as, at best, bizarre.  These days, no one even blinks. 

And yet who living in this riven, confused, semi-paralyzed country of ours truly believes that, in 2011, Americans can achieve whatever we set out to accomplish?  Who thinks that, not having won a war in memory, the U.S. military is incontestably the finest fighting force now or ever (and on a “climb to glory” at that), or that this country is at present specially blessed by God, or that ours is a mission of selfless kindheartedness on planet Earth?

Obama’s remarks have no wings these days because they are ever more divorced from reality.  Perhaps because this president in fawning mode is such an uncomfortable sight, and because Americans generally feel so ill-at-ease about their relationship to our wars, however, such remarks are neither attacked nor defended, discussed nor debated, but as if by some unspoken agreement simply ignored.

Here, in any case, is what they aren’t: effective rallying cries for a nation in need of unity.  Here’s what they may be: strange, defensive artifacts of an imperial power in visible decline, part of what might be imagined as the Great American Unraveling.  But hold that thought a moment.  After all, the topic of the president’s remarks was Afghanistan.

The Unreal War

If Obama framed his Afghan remarks in a rhetoric of militarized super-national surrealism, then what he had to say about the future of the war itself was deceptive in the extreme — not lies perhaps, but full falsehoods half told.  Consider just the two most important of them: that his “surge” consisted only of 33,000 American troops and that “by next summer,” Americans are going to be so on the road to leaving Afghanistan that it isn’t funny.

Unfortunately, it just ain’t so.  First of all, the real Obama surge was minimally almost 55,000 and possibly 66,000 troops, depending on how you count them.  When he came into office in January 2009, there were about 32,000 American troops in Afghanistan.  Another 11,000 had been designated to go in the last days of the Bush administration, but only departed in the first Obama months.  In March 2009, the president announced his own “new strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan” and dispatched 21,700 more troops.  Then, in December 2009 in a televised speech to the nation from West Point, he announced that another 30,000 would be going.  (With “support troops,” it turned out to be 33,000.)

In other words, in September 2012, 14 months from now, only about half the actual troop surge of the Obama years will have been withdrawn.  In addition, though seldom discussed, the Obama “surge” was hardly restricted to troops.  There was a much ballyhooed “civilian surge” of State Department and aid types that more than tripled the “civilian” effort in Afghanistan.  Their drawdown was recently addressed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, but only in the vaguest of terms.

Then there was a major surge of CIA personnel (along with U.S. special operations forces), and there’s no indication whatsoever that anyone in Washington intends reductions there, or in the drone surge that went with it.  As a troop drawdown begins, CIA agents, those special ops forces, and the drones are clearly slated to remain at or beyond a surge peak.

Finally, there was a surge in private contractors — hired foreign guns and hired Afghans — tens of thousands of them.  It goes unmentioned, as does the surge in base building, which has yet to end, and the surge in massive citadel-style embassy building in the region, which is assumedly ongoing.

All of this makes mincemeat of the idea that we are in the process of ending the Afghan war. I know the president said, “Our mission will change from combat to support.  By 2014, this process of transition will be complete, and the Afghan people will be responsible for their own security.”  And that was a foggy enough formulation that you might be forgiven for imagining more or less everything will be over “by 2014” — which, by the way, means not January 1st, but December 31st of that year.

If what we know of U.S. plans in Afghanistan plays out, however, December 31, 2014, will be the date for the departure of the last of the full Obama surge of 64,000 troops.  In other words, almost five years after Obama entered office, more than 13 years after the Bush administration launched its invasion, we could find ourselves back to or just below something close to Bush-era troop levels. Tens of thousands of U.S. forces would still be in Afghanistan, some of them “combat troops” officially relabeled (as in Iraq) for less warlike activity.  All would be part of an American “support” mission that would include huge numbers of “trainers” for the Afghan security forces and also U.S. special forces operatives and CIA types engaged in “counterterror” activities in the country and region.

The U.S. general in charge of training the Afghan military recently suggested that his mission wouldn’t be done until 2017 (and no one who knows anything about the country believes that an effective Afghan Army will be in place then either).  In addition, although the president didn’t directly mention this in his speech, the Obama administration has been involved in quiet talks with the government of Afghan President Hamid Karzai to nail down a “strategic partnership” agreement that would allow American troops, spies, and air power to hunker down as “tenants” on some of the giant bases we’ve built.  There they would evidently remain for years, if not decades (as some reports have it).

In other words, on December 31, 2014, if all goes as planned, the U.S. will be girding for years more of wildly expensive war, even if in a slimmed down form.  This is the reality, as American planners imagine it, behind the president’s speech.

Overstretched Empire

Of course, it’s not for nothing that we regularly speak of the best laid plans going awry, something that applies doubly, as in Afghanistan, to the worst laid plans.  It’s increasingly apparent that our disastrous wars are, as Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee John Kerry recently admitted, “unsustainable.”  After all, just the cost of providing air conditioning to U.S. personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan — $20 billion a year — is more than NASA’s total budget.

Yes, despite Washington’s long lost dreams of a Pax Americana in the Greater Middle East, some of its wars there are still being planned as if for a near-eternity, while others are being intensified.  Those wars are still fueled by overblown fears of terrorism; encouraged by a National Security Complex funded to the tune of more than $1.2 trillion annually by an atmosphere of permanent armed crisis; and run by a military that, after a decade of not-so-creative destruction, can’t stop doing what it knows how to do best (which isn’t winning a war).

Though Obama claims that the United States is no empire, all of this gives modern meaning to the term “overstretched empire.”  And it’s not really much of a mystery what happens to overextemded imperial powers that find themselves fighting “little” wars they can’t win, while their treasuries head south.

The growing unease in Washington about America’s wars reflects a dawning sense of genuine crisis, a sneaking suspicion even among hawkish Republicans that they preside ineffectually over a great power in precipitous decline.

Think, then, of the president’s foreign-policy-cum-war speeches as ever more unconvincing attempts to cover the suppurating wound that is Washington’s global war policy.  If you want to take the temperature of the present crisis, you can do it through Obama’s words.  The less they ring true, the more discordant they seem in the face of reality, the more he fawns and repeats his various mantras, the more uncomfortable he makes you feel, the more you have the urge to look away, the deeper the crisis.

What will he say when the Great American Unraveling truly begins?

Tom Engelhardt, co-founder of the American Empire Project and the author of The End of Victory Culture, runs the Nation Institute’s His latest book is The American Way of War: How Bush’s Wars Became Obama’s (Haymarket Books).

Copyright 2011 Tom Engelhardt

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Posted by Just Foreign Policy on June 30th, 2011

From our partners at Just Foreign Policy

US Deaths in Afghanistan: Obama vs Bush. Click here to learn more.

Only a week after the President stood before the nation to proclaim the successes of the war in Afghanistan under his guardianship, the Obama strategy is set to reap one of its most grisly rewards: within the next few days, 1,000 U.S. troops will have died in Afghanistan since President Obama took office, according to and our counter, “U.S. Deaths in Afghanistan: Obama vs. Bush” (right). By comparison, 575 U.S. soldiers died in Afghanistan under President Bush. In other words, after managing the war for a mere third of its duration, Obama is responsible for nearly two-thirds of U.S. casualties in Afghanistan.

What is that I hear? Ah, it’s a groan coming from up in the balcony. I believe they’re saying, “of course more troops were going to die under President Obama’s Afghanistan strategy than President Bush’s. More troops means more deaths. It was only because Bush ignored Afghanistan that Obama had to expand the U.S.’s troop commitment in the country. And now you’re blaming him for it?”

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Posted by The Agonist on June 29th, 2011

From our partners at The Agonist

WaPo’s Checkpoint Washington, By Jason Ukman, June 29

Amid a growing debate over how to bring down the government’s debt, a new study has concluded that U.S. involvement in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan has cost up to $4 trillion over the past decade.

The study, by the nonpartisan Eisenhower Research Project based at Brown University’s Watson Institute for International Studies, also estimates that at least 225,000 people, including civilians, troops and insurgents, have died as a result of the conflicts. Of that number, an estimated 6,000 were uniformed U.S. military personnel.

Pentagon spending accounts for only half of the budgetary costs incurred and represents a fraction of the full economic cost of the wars, according to the study. Among other line items, the study’s contributors — more than 20 economists, political scientists and other experts — estimate federal obligations to care for past and future veterans will eventually total $600 billion to $950 billion.

Seems a bit low (especially the death estimate), doesn’t it?

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Posted by on June 29th, 2011

From our partners at

By Steve Hynd

Not to harsh your Humpday Wednesday but…

A new report out of Brown University estimates that the U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq–together with the counterinsurgency efforts in Pakistan–will, all told, cost $4 trillion and leave 225,000 dead, both civilians and soldiers.

The group of economists, anthropologists, lawyers, humanitarian personnel, and political scientists involved in the project estimated that the cost of caring for the veterans injured in the wars will reach $1 trillion in 30 or 40 years. In estimating the $4 trillion total, they did not take into account the $5.3 billion in reconstruction spending the government has promised Afghanistan, state and local contributions to veteran care, interest payments on war debt, or the costs of Medicare for veterans when they reach 65.

Iraq is still muchly a mess. Even now, watchdogs are still issuing reports of illegal detentions, torture while in custody and rampant corruption. Attacks still happen on a daily basis and US soldiers are still dying there. Afghanistan is, if anything, even worse. Neither nation shows any sign of functioning close to pre-invasion par anytime in the next decade. Iran has been strengthened by Iraq's collapse and the people who perpetrated 9/11 found sanctuary and succor in Pakistan. The freedom agenda, bringing democracy at gunpoint, simply didn't happen. It was all so not worth it.

"We decided we needed to do this kind of rigorous assessment of what it cost to make those choices to go to war," study co-director Catherine Lutz told Reuters. "Politicians, we assumed, were not going to do that kind of assessment."

Damn straight.

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Posted by The Agonist on June 29th, 2011

From our partners at The Agonist

My suspicion is Al Qaeda and their sympathisers are a lot more clever than we credit them for:

KABUL — Kamel Khan, 32, a businessman, was chatting with two friends on the poolside terrace of the hilltop Intercontinental Hotel Tuesday night when he heard a burst of gunfire and looked up. A man carrying a machine gun, with an ammunition belt across his chest and a knapsack on his back, was standing a few feet away.

“He stared at all of the guests like he wanted to kill us, and he had enough bullets to do it, but for some reason he just turned and kept going,” Khan said. After a moment of shock, Khan and dozens of other guests made a dash for the garden wall and fled downhill, while heavy shooting erupted behind them.

I don’t think it’s much of a coincidence that we announce a troop drawdown in Afhganistan and fighting begins to flare up again.

It seems that a strategy of trying to exhaust the resources of the greatest military in the history of the planet is underway. It’s a smart strategy. Our armed forces are pretty regimented in terms of materiel and personnel. We don’t really have a flexible strategy to keep our troops fresh and we certainly aren’t about to start a draft at this point in time. We’ve got the forces we’re going to fight with and can only hope they’re up to the task over the long and difficult haul.

Thank you, George Bush. Sometimes, listening to Jesus means actually taking his advice and turning the other cheek. But I digress…

We’ve been at this war, on and off (because you sure can’t call the first seven years anything more than lip service to accomplishing a goal) for almost eleven years now and will certainly surpass that mark before our troops come home.

By contrast, World War II took less than half that time, we beat the Nazis AND Japan in two theatres. By that measure, this Middle-South Asia adventure has been a debacle. We wars on three fronts (if you include Iraq and Pakistan) and are rumbling with Libya.

The paranoid in me believes there’s more here than meets the eye. After spending nearly forty years in a cold war with the Soviet Union, perhaps its possible that the Chinese were taking notes. If they can get the US to dismantle our economy willingly in pursuit of ghosts and vapor trails, the Chinese can rather quietly declare checkmate on us and our economy.

We’ve certainly demonstrated our willingness to take our economy to the brink in order to beat a military rival. China doesn’t even have to lift a finger except to fund the Taliban and Al Qaeda (as well as Hamas and Hezbollah, among others) to keep our military spending up, our debt purchases flowing and our military exhausted.

After all, would you send in American troops after a decade of fighting an exhausting and draining war into a dispute in the South China Sea?

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Posted by on June 28th, 2011

From our partners at

By Steve Hynd

There's been a massive terror attack in Kabul, and a massive response by security forces.

Four suicide bombers and four gunmen attacked a Western-style hotel in Kabul late on Tuesday night and police who went to the scene fought the assailants with machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades, Afghan officials said. Some Afghan provincial governors were staying at the hotel.

Samoonyar Mohammad Zaman, a security officer for the Ministry of Interior, said officials believe there are still four gunmen in the Inter-Continental hotel, which sits on a hill overlooking the capital.

"They may be on the roof. We're seeing gunfire going back and forth. Some of that is Afghan police firing from hilltops onto the roof," he said. "I saw the bodies of two suicide bombers at the main entrance of the hotel."

The Afghan Taliban have already issued a statement taking responsibility.

Zabihullah Mujahed, a spokesman for the Taliban guerrilla movement, said a “big group” of Taliban gunmen killed or wounded 50 people, mostly foreigners, after storming the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul, where a meeting that included American officials had been taking place.

One suicide bomber blew himself up during the raid and a guard at the entrance of the hotel was killed, Mujahed said in a telephone interview. The group of gunmen dispersed once inside the hotel to seek foreigners on different floors, he said.

…Mujahed said the attack was timed for a meeting involving U.S., Afghan and Pakistani officials, with the intent of killing them.

According to the Afghan government, all the attackers are now dead but they have no idea how many are casualties. The Inter-Continental is heavily used by foreigners in Kabul, including journalists and aid workers – several of whom bravely kept up tweeting throughout.

UK newspapers are already making comparisons to the 2008 attacks in Mumbai, India. Such a well co-ordinated attack is a new departure for the Taliban in Afghanistan but had been promised by their leadership even before the announced U.S. withdrawal. Still as Josh Mull notes, expect critics of the withdrawal plan to use this attack to make the case for halting it.

However in the aftermath the main criticism may focus on the over-zealous security forces' response, very much in contrast to the careful Indian commando response in Mumbai that was criticized at the time for not being zealous enough. There were reports of RPGs used by Afghan police inside the hotel and of helicopters opening fire – presumably U.S. ones – and firing at least two missiles at the roof. The entire roof of the hotel is now ablaze, as are the north and east sides of the building. As former Army officer Jason Fitz notes, clearing terrorists from a building full of civilians is what ground forces are supposed to do, not a job for missiles and attack helicopters.

More from CNN and the NYT has a fast report on those tweeting from the area during the attack.

 Transcript of interview with on-the-spot reporter Bette Dam. (via @al_habieli)

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Posted by Peace Action West on June 28th, 2011

From our partners at Peace Action West

A great deal of our work in recent months has been focused on pushing Congress to pressure the Obama administration to end the war in Afghanistan. We saw this pay off with the strongest vote ever in the House on an accelerated withdrawal, and a powerful letter from senators to the president calling for a sizable withdrawal.

As we gear up to keep the pressure on following President Obama’s disappointing announcement of his plan for a modest withdrawal, we see once again how critical our congressional work has been. Many members of Congress have put out statements criticizing the president’s plan as insufficient, laying the groundwork for us to work with allies to keep a drumbeat going and push for a quicker withdrawal plan.

A sample of some of the statements since the president’s announcement:

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA):

Tonight, President Obama made it clear: we are now beginning the process of bringing our troops home and ending the war in Afghanistan. It has been the hope of many in Congress and across the country that the full drawdown of U.S. forces would happen sooner than the President laid out – and we will continue to press for a better outcome.

Senate Armed Services Committee Chair Carl Levin (D-MI):

The president’s decision represents a positive development, although in my view the conditions on the ground justify an even larger drawdown of U.S. troops this year than the president announced tonight. I will continue to advocate for an accelerated drawdown in the months ahead, and for enhanced training and partnering with Afghan forces, because only they can provide durable security for their nation.

Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO):

It’s time to bring the surge troops home, and I wish the president had laid out a more aggressive plan today. After discussing this issue at length with senior military leaders, diplomats, and many experts with years of service in Afghanistan, I think we could safely withdraw 15,000 troops this year without jeopardizing the gains that our men and women in uniform have achieved.

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR):

If reports of the President’s speech are correct, we’ll have twice as many combat troops in Afghanistan at the end of his term than we did at the beginning.  We should instead have a path to bring those troops home.

Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN), ranking member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee:

It is essential that Afghanistan be viewed in the broader strategic context.  If we set out to reapportion our worldwide military and diplomatic assets without reference to where they are now, no rational review would commit nearly 100,000 troops and $100 billion a year to Afghanistan.  An additional 31,000 troops are in the region supporting Afghanistan operations.  The country does not hold that level of strategic value for us, especially at a time when our nation is confronting a debt crisis and our armed forces are being strained by repeated combat deployments.

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), Co-Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus Peace & Security Task Force:

I was disappointed in the President’s announcement this evening that only 10,000 troops will be removed from Afghanistan by the end of this year and only 33,000 troops will be removed by September of 2012.  Almost three out of four Americans want to bring our troops home from Afghanistan, and this is far from the sizeable and significant reduction that the American people were expecting.

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA):

I am glad this war is ending, but it’s ending at far too slow a pace. We need a swifter turnover of responsibility to the nearly 300,000 Afghan forces we have trained, which would allow our brave military men and women to come home sooner.

Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA):

I believe it is imperative that the President quicken the pace of America’s withdrawal from Afghanistan and get our troops out even faster than he has proposed. At the cost of more than 1,500 American lives, this war is incredibly costly. At the cost of $113 billion a year, it’s expensive, dangerous, and unproductive. It is time to refocus America’s intelligence and defense resources on more imminent threats from terrorists not just in Afghanistan but in other regions of the world such as Yemen or Pakistan. I urge the President to move immediately to end this unnecessary war.

This is only a small portion of the encouraging statements that have come out of Congress in the last several days. Seen another good one? Add it in the comments section.

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Posted by Peace Action West on June 28th, 2011

From our partners at Peace Action West

After seeing the destruction and devastation caused by the war in Afghanistan, and hearing countless stories of corruption amongst Afghan officials and private contractors, a lot of people want to know what, if any, effective tools we have to help Afghans.

The answer to that question lies in listening to Afghans, letting them lead the way in improving their communities and investing in small, sustainable projects. The National Solidarity Program (NSP), which gives grants to Community Development Councils so villagers can undertake their own development projects, does just that.

This helpful video from UKAid shows how the NSP process works, offering a window into the impact they’ve had on lives in Afghanistan, from improving access to water to building a community health clinic.

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Posted by Just Foreign Policy on June 25th, 2011

From our partners at Just Foreign Policy

President announces plan for troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.

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